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The Characters – Bhagavad Gita 1:2-6 

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 2-6

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION CONTINUES – THE CHARACTERS

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – The blind king. The name means ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. He represents ignorance.

Samjaya – Minister to Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘victorious’. He has divine sight.

Duryodhana – The present king, eldest of the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘dirty fighter’, dirty in the sense of wicked, sneaky, and not playing fair. He represents the will and ‘ego’.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘bucket’; it is said that he was born in a bucket, outside of a human womb. He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi), the intellect.

Drupada – From dru, ‘to make flow’, and pad, ‘to stand fast’. He represents ‘quick, unconstrained action’. He is also called Quick Step, but this is yet another story.

Drishtadyumna – Son of Drupada and disciple of Drona. The name means, ‘daring, confident and powerful’.

2
Samjaya said
(he is relating this to Dhritarashtra by means of divine sight; they are not on the battlefield):
Seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up and ready for battle, Duryodhana approached his teacher, Drona, and said:

3
Just look at the mighty army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arrayed by your intelligent disciple, Drishtadyumna, the son of Drupada.

You may wonder at the acerbic tone Duryodhana uses when addressing his archery guru, Drona. Upon looking over the opposing army, he becomes angry with Drona for having taught the art of war to his enemies along with himself, with no attention given to having expertly armed the very people he was bound to fight.

4  —  The Bowmen
Here in this army are many heroic bowmen, such as Yuyudhana (vanquisher), Virata (of manifold arrows) and Drupada (quick step), equal to Bhima (formidable strength)  and Arjuna (the greatest archer) in their ability to fight,

When you mull all this over in your mind, notice things like the inclusion of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers and therefore a major player throughout the Mahabharata, with other apparent lesser players. This is not by accident. Bhima is named here among them, thus hiding his significance, which is of great importance in later stages of sadhana. It is also significant that he is noted among the bowmen even though his own weapon is a club…or his bare hands!  So Bhima bears watching.

5 — Heros
Fighters like Dhishtaketu (the standard for bravery), Cekitana (intelligent), Kashiraja (celebrated royalty), Purujit (conquering many), Kuntibhoja (granting protection) and Shaibya (generousity),

6  —  Chariot Fighters
The mighty Yudhamanyu (cagey fighter), powerful Uttamauja (dauntless), the son of Subhadra (auspicious), and the sons of Draupadi (shakti), all great chariot fighters.

___________________________

A good way to approach a scriptural text, especially when it is story based, is to try to unravel the meanings it contains the same way you would try to understand a dream you have had. One of the best ways to do this is to consider all the players as different aspects of yourself. Never mind whether you like the players or not, just go with it.

Also attend to the relationships you find among the players. For instance, Duryodhana is the son of Dhritarashtra. This tells us that ego is a product of ignorance, so we naturally want to contemplate what ‘ignorance’ is, and what this means for us. Drishtadyumna (power, confidence and daring) was taught the art of war by the same person as Duryodhana (the ego). This tells us that both ego (Duryodhana) and power (Drishtadyumna) are equal in their abilities to fight this battle, having been schooled equally by the intellect (Drona). So we conclude that we can’t count on intellect to win this war, as it is a neutral force; and we can’t rely entirely on our own power, self-confidence and daring (Drishtadyumna) to defeat the ego. Something more is needed to tip the scale.

Now you must also ask yourself such questions as, what is archery? who is this teacher of archery, Drona? what is his story? and how does all this relate to you? and to your own sadhana?

The first draft of these verses was a more comprehensive article, and it was ready to go, but it mysteriously disappeared. When I think of having lost it, I have to wonder if I was being stopped from spoiling all the fun you’re going to have figuring these things out for yourselves. The consolation prize is that I leave you with a mystery. That is, after all, the meaning of the word ‘mystical’, and you are only getting a ‘tidbit’.

Happy sleuthing!
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.
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Arjuna’s Depression – Bhagavad Gita 1:1

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 1

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION

1
Dhirtarashtra said:  O Samjaya, about my sons of the field of doers, and the sons of Pandu of the field of dharma, eager to fight, tell me what they are doing.  

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – Dhritarashtra was the blind king. The name means, ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. 

Samjaya – The king’s minister. The name means, ‘victorious’.

What is going on:

A conflict is about to take place on the battlefield. Dhritarashtra, who was king and is blind, is asking his minister, Samjaya, to tell him what is going on between his son’s army and the opposing army. His son leads the armies of the Kurus. The armies of the Pandavas are lined up against him.

Because Dhritarashtra is blind, he tells his minister, Samjaya, who has the power to see at a distance, to tell him what is going on. The result is that we get to listen in as Samjaya reports events to Dhritarashtra. This is the source of a dialogue that makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita. The dialogue is between Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Krishna, Arjuna’s guru and childhood best friend who has come over from the other side to drive Arjuna’s chariot for him. But this is another story.

The Two Fields
The field of dharma (truth, divine law, virtue)¹ and the field of kuru (doership, will, ‘ego’).

Think of ‘field’ as a scope of influence and action. The field of the Pandavas is dharma, Truth. The field of the Kurus² (from, kri, ‘to do’) is doership. These two, Truth and doership, have come together in one place to contend their right to rule the kingdom, thus implying that Truth and doership do not tend to get along well with one another.

What does all this have to do with you? 

As a king, Dhritarashtra represents a ruler. His blindness represents ignorance—he is unenlightened. Because he cannot ‘see’ and must have his minister relate events to him, we draw the obvious conclusion that this indicates perception that is indirect on the part of the unenlightened, whereas the perception of one who ‘sees’ is direct. So we have ‘ignorance’ as ‘ruler’ of the ‘kingdom’.

What rules you and your kingdom? You will find the answer to this question in what you want. Do you want Truth, or do you want to be in control? Do you want Truth to rule, or do you want to do everything yourself? The setup of this story seems to be telling us that there is no middle ground where this is concerned.

The rightful ruler is Truth, dharma.
Doership (will) has usurped the thrown.
A conflict is inevitable.

The conflict between the Kurus and the Pandavas represents a clash of opposing forces that occurs when attempting to right this situation. The clash is the coming together of two opposing energies in the body of the person engaged in this endeavor. This union of sun-energy and moon-energy (ha-tha yoga) in the body³ awakens the evolutionary force (kundalini). Once awake and active, the evolutionary force begins the process of doing what is necessary to correct the situation. This process is explained by Lord Krishna in His dialogue with Arjuna, his devotee, and makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God).

Ignorance, the state of the unenlightened, is indirect perception. Dhritarashtra represents ignorance as the ruler of one’s kingdom—your perception, actions, and life in general. But there is someone with you who perceives directly, and can ‘see’. This individual knows what’s going on, and will tell you everything if you ask. But it will be up to you to understand what is being conveyed to you by this individual … and by this scripture, for it is this individual who is conveying it.

FOOTNOTES:

¹ dharma means law, the true essence of anything, and Truth in the absolute sense, i.e., sanatana dharma, ‘Eternal Truth’.

² The physical place, Kurukshetra, is located north of Delhi near Pranipat.

³ The Kurus are of the race of the Moon, and the Pandavas are of the race of the Sun.

Jaya Bhagavan(Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

** For those who are participating in the Gita studygroup with Anandi, the first Zoom discussion will be help Sunday, June 28th @ 11amEST.  For assistance and questions please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

JoJo Rabbit and God – A contemplation on non-duality in the modern world.

I apologize in advance for anyone that this may offend. It is not my usual approach to writing here, but it is at the forefront of my mind.

In an effort to continue the weekly postings on Mystical Tidbits and the evolution of Durga Ma’s work, I found myself in a pickle. She had the gift of the shastras. Every morning Durga Ma would study scripture, translate sanskrit and write commentary that became the wealth of knowledge that you find here.

My gifts are, well… unusual and undecided at this point. But we do share the sincere desire for people to become inspired to act, to wake-up, and to seek Truth. I want to write about the beauty and glory of Truth, but sometimes that comes in a less than desirable package. So here we go…

Yesterday I went with some friends to see JoJo Rabbit. Probably not what most people expect a yogi to do, but I love a good film and a controversial topic to sink my teeth into for contemplation.

All is THAT. download

This is the aim of the yogi. To realize, to make real the truth that there is none other in existence than One/God/Truth/Divine through the process of unbecoming everything else to the final dawning of pure consciousness. We give our lives and efforts to the path of Self-Realization for the purpose of liberation from suffering and ultimately, the suffering of the world.

So sitting in a theatre watching real documented footage of people pining to touch Adolf Hitler was a challenge. The heart is a fickle thing, just like the mind, and just like the human self. It’s a lot easier to move into a transcended state of consciousness when I am alone, or with people I get along with, or while teaching. But how does enlightenment stack up when we are face to face with a phenomenon like Adlof Hitler?

There is a reason yogi’s go to caves and live in solitude. That is not my path this time around, so here I am in the world… seeking Truth with unceasing devotion and increasing fervor, while in a movie theatre watching a young boy in Nazi Germany negotiating a very real situation.

You should know that everything becomes a contemplation of Truth in my world, and on my way home I found myself swept away reflecting on the condition of our modern world in relationship to the striking similarities of those in JoJo Rabbit.

I can’t help but think of my own child, nearly 8 years old, and other children… leading ultimately to the world which, in a not so distant past was in the middle of WWII. I thought of the coincidence that this film is out now, during an administration that is arguably in place through the efforts of preying on people’s fear. We live in a world that is at war with itself on more than one level, fueled largely by the fear of what we do not know and do not understand, and are too afraid to confront honestly.

But perhaps the most significant thought which arose, is that it takes something as catastrophic as the Holocaust to awaken the human heart. While only a few decades to forget, and for some to deny all together.

More often than not it is the pain of suffering, and the loss of all hope that brings a human to the level of humility needed to finally open to real love. A fundamental desire of the human experience, and a necessity for survival that seems to persist in the modern world more as a threat than as an accessible reality.

By this point in my contemplation the tears were streaming uncontrollably and I felt the overwhelming suffering that is our collective ignorance. Between the sobs I looked for a way out that would satisfy the mind’s desire to confirm that all is THAT, and to release me from the grip of witnessing the power of fear. Fear for my son, for the world, for my self,  of being gobbled up in the illusion of feeling powerless, peppered with unwillingness to do differently, to do better.

But it didn’t come. Because the mind can’t give you freedom. True freedom comes from the heart.

Rumi wrote, “keep breaking your heart until, finally, it breaks completely open.”

Truth sometimes comes in a tear-drenched, snot-filled realization that our greatest power is in our capacity to love. Our ability to remain vulnerable to an exploration of self, without the premature transcendence into the “thought” that everything is perfect just as it is. That pivotal point where we give up out of cowardice or misunderstanding and pretend that it’s ok. We must go beyond the limits of where we feel comfortable and be willing to dip into a deeper reservoir of our reality.

What is waiting in the darkest recesses of the heart? Truth.

Everything is THAT, pure and perfect omnipotent one-ness of Divinity.

What is required of us to embody that reality is the dedication and commitment to realizing it. We do better by being willing to encounter ourselves with self-honesty, and others with less judgement and more acceptance. We exercise our power by choosing not to empower fear, or to condone violence as an excuse for it.

Durga Ma told me (on more than one occasion)

“The greatest gift you can give the world is your own awakening.”

So this experience became a reminder of personal revelation and the importance of remaining available to the infinite manifestations of love (which sometimes is nothing more than fear parading as a boundary of our true potential), as well as a personal recommendation for a tremendous film. A captivating journey, which, I think beautifully captured the essence of the human heart to rescue us from the perils of our own misunderstanding. The world is inherently unstable by nature and constantly reinventing itself in the reflection of the inhabitants who best capture our attention, so we should take great care in where we place ours.

It also served as a reminder of why I continue my practice and my work. We are far from free and all we have is time, so the question is… how will you spend yours?

With Love,

Anandi

1008 Pranams to Durga Ma and all the Masters who have gone before in the quest of Knowledge and Truth, who have left a blazing trail to follow. My many heartfelt thanks to you who read this all the way through an entertained my otherwise child-like fascination of finding Truth through experiencing life in the world.

My deepest heartfelt gratitude to Taika Waititi and all of the people and efforts that brought this film to life. It was an important act of courage and an incredible use of creative vision and skill, blended with the perfect amount of levity to an otherwise heavy subject. May we all learn from the grace of those who are willing to confront the dimensions of humanity that threaten freedom when left unattended.